Ineos Oligomers invests in PAO/LAO plants in the US


Ineos Oligomers plans to significantly grow its low viscosity polyalphaolefin (PAO) business by building the world’s largest single train PAO plant. The 120,000 tonnes/year-unit is expected to be operational in the first half of 2019. The company did not say where the new PAO plant would be built or the amount of investment.

In support of its investment to grow its capacity across its PAO facilities, Ineos has also confirmed that it will build a 420,000 tonnes/year-LAO (Linear Alpha Olefin) unit at Chocolate Bayou, Texas. This unit will provide the raw materials (including up to 85 ktpa of decene-1) used by its PAO units.

It has also debottlenecked its La Porte, Texas plant, producing low viscosity grades, and has optimised production runs at its plant in Feluy, Belgium. The projects have successfully increased its global low viscosity PAO capacity by approximately 15%. Ineos also has an engineering project to mechanically debottleneck the Feluy PAO plant, which presents the business with a valuable option to add a further 15% to its capacity by early 2018.

In addition to investment in its low viscosity grades, Ineos has also previously announced a new 20,000 tonnes/year high viscosity PAO unit at its La Porte plant in Texas, to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2017. The unit, which is being built at the company’s existing PAO facility in La Porte, will use Ineos’s metallocene high viscosity PAO technology and will benefit from several site synergies.

"The industry needs an increased supply of high quality base oils, such as PAO, to formulate the next generation of advanced lubricant products," said Bob Learman, CEO of Ineos Oligomers.

"Ineos is making the commitment to invest in both the PAO capacity and the necessary LAO feedstock supply to ensure PAO is a viable and secure long term formulation option for our customers," he added.

The back integration into the manufacture of LAO will provide the firm a secure supply of the essential raw materials for its PAO production.

End applications for PAOs have continued to grow across both high and low viscosity grades. These products are increasingly used in industrial and automotive applications including passenger car motor oils, lubricants for wind turbines, heavy-duty diesel engine oils, and other speciality fluids.

Synthetic motor oils based on PAOs can help reduce engine wear and extend the service intervals compared to conventional petroleum based oils.


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